Website traffic is the main factor to the success of any type of website. For a website to monetize well, it has to receive good traffic.
You have to keep track of all statistics of your website closely. This not only includes the number of visitors but other statistics like where do they come from, what keywords do they use and what time they come.
Fortunately, there is an easy, quick online tool that you can use to dig deeper into the traffic statistics. That is google analytics.
What is Google Analytics?
Google Analytics is a service offered by Google that enables websites monitor visitors. You can see the source of traffic to your website among a bunch of other stuff.
For a free service, you get a lot of features with Google Analytics. That is why Analytics is the industry standard in monitoring web traffic.
With analytics, you can see what visitors do on your website, where they come from, how many new or returning visitors your site gets, where they go to after visiting your site, the keywords they used to find you, and how long they stayed on your site.
Apart from all these. Analytics makes it possible for you to set goals that are in line with your business goals.
For example, if you are selling products on your website, you can set up goals such that it shows you what traffic sources results in more business.
You can also use it to identify social networking platforms that work best for your business so that you can invest more in creating a presence on them, and even learn useful info about your visitors.
Setting up your Google Analytics Account
Head over to analytics.google.com to set up your analytics account. You can use your google/gmail account to setup the analytics account.
First thing you have to do after signing up is to add your website to Google Analytics. Press Add Account option (Admin -> Add account at the time of writing this guide) and enter the details of your website.
After you have submitted your website details, google has to verify that the website is, infact your website. There are different options offered for verification. One of the easiest would be to upload a file provided by google to your website. You have to download the HTML file generated by google and upload the file to your web site through FTP or cPanel->File Explorer.
Once you have verified your website ownership, Google analytics will give you the code to copy paste to your website.
If you are using WordPress, you can use a plugin like insert-headers-and-footers to insert the analytics code.
How to Check Website Traffic Google Analytics
The first screen you see when you log in is your dashboard and it gives you an overview of your website’s traffic. To view an overview of a specific time period, you can change the date at the top right corner.
1. Website visitors
In order to get more details of the visitors to your website, click on the ‘Audience’ tab on the left side of the screen and select Overview. The screen that opens up gives you a breakdown of all visitors to your site for a certain time period.
The graph shows you a visual representation of the number of visitors to your site. Under that, you can see further segmentation of the visitors into number of sessions, number of page views, bounce rates, and more. A bar graph on the right side will show you the ratio of new visitors to return visitors.
Further down the page are more aspects like the demographics of your visitor, the platforms (Operating Systems) and browsers they used, and the length of their sessions. You can click on any of these links to get more information.
Apart from viewing your website’s traffic, analytics shows you the sources of traffic to your website. This is especially helpful because you can use this information to improve viewership. For example, if you discover that Facebook sends more users to your website than twitter, you would spend more time working on twitter to increase the number of traffic you get from it while at the same time making sure that all important communication is also posted on Facebook.
To view your traffic sources, select “acquisition” tab on the left side and click on overview. Here you will see your top traffic sources including a percentage that represents the fraction of traffic from the sources.